Michael Roche
Michael Roche Contributed

CSG industry claims the hearts and minds of the people

THE battle for hearts and minds over coal seam gas is far from won, despite both sides of the argument claiming victory.

The Queensland Resources Council recently released polling showing massive levels of support for the mining industry, particularly from the agricultural sector.

Chief executive Michael Roche recently told a Bowen Basin Mining Club lunch in Moranbah that one of the industry's greatest strengths was widespread support from the public, which he put at 82%, according to polling.

"Another telling response from the statewide polling is that 77% of voters on the Darling Downs support mining and resources, which defies claims from anti-industry activists of community opposition," Mr Roche said.

He said 77% also agreed that mining and agriculture could co-exist if the relationship between the two were better managed.

He said 77% also agreed that mining and agriculture could co-exist if the relationship between the two were better managed.

Queensland GasFields Commission head John Cotter acknowledged that this relationship, particularly the initial approaches by mining companies to land8owners, was critical to creating mutually beneficial outcomes.

He said more experienced companies were better at making these approaches and this generally led to better outcomes.

"The greatest frustration and the greatest concern has come from the lack of the industry's ability to explain to people in general how their industry works," Mr Cotter said.

Lock The Gate Alliance's Drew Hutton dismissed the commission as an industry facilitator, and said that people's opposition to coal seam mining practices was clear when the right question was asked.

"If they ask 'how important is the mining industry' then they will get a strong result. I think the mining industry is important," Mr Hutton said.

"Our polling found 86% of people support the right of people to stop mining companies from coming on to their land."



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